Mumbai, India (PressExposure) October 23, 2009 -- As a material for engine air management components, pseudoplastic polyamide 6 and 66 grades are increasingly becoming an attractively priced alternative to elastomer combinations and special-purpose thermoplastics. Using extrusion and suction blow molding processes, they can be cost-effectively processed into products such as air ducts, charge-air tubes and clean air lines. A new example of this trend is the charge-air tube of a four-cylinder gasoline engine with turbocharger for the mid-class sedan of a U.S. automaker.
It consists of Durethan AKV 325 H2.0 from LANXESS, one of the few pseudoplastic polyamide 66 grades available on the market with 25 percent glass-fiber reinforcement. This component is one of the first blow-molded charge-air tubes made from this material to be used on the âhot sideâ of the charge-air cooler in series production. âThanks to its stiffness, our polyamide 66 can withstand the high pressures and temperatures that come about when the vehicle is moving, while its melt viscosity enables excellent process reliability and productivity for blow molding. It also meets the surface quality requirements of a component that is highly visible in the engineâ, explains Ludger Meinerding, Key Account Manager in LANXESS Semi-Crystalline Products business unit.
The molded part, which is approximately one meter long and has cross-sections in the region of 50 millimeter, connects the turbocharger to the charge-air cooler. It is therefore on the âhot sideâ of the charge-air cooler and is particularly exposed to significant long-term thermal loading, as well as high compressive forces. âOur material copes with this demand thanks to its special heat stabilization. It boasts high thermal aging stability and heat resistance and withstands temperature peaks of up to 200 Â°Câ, says Meinerding. A further benefit of polyamide 66 is that pinch-off edges and flash that occur in processing can easily be recycled. The recycled materials can be compounded with virgin material into regranulates that can be fed back into the production process with no significant detrimental effects on material properties.
High melt stiffness
Pseudoplastic polyamides are highly viscous at low shear rates. They can therefore be processed very easily using 3D methods such as suction blow molding and blow molding with parison manipulation. The extruded parisons show only minimal sagging under their own weight prior to inflation in the mold. âFor example, despite the high glass fiber content, Durethan AKV 325 H2.0 can be used to manufacture and blow-mold parisons weighing up to eight kilograms. The material is thus also suitable for producing large, air-ducting blow-molded parts for engines used in, for example, all-terrain and commercial vehiclesâ, says Meinerding. At high sheer rates, on the other hand, pseudoplastic polyamides are only about as viscous as standard polyamides, which means they are also suitable for injection molding.
Wide product range for blow molding
LANXESS has developed a wide range of pseudoplastic polyamide 6 and 66 grades for blow-molded parts in engine air management systems. It includes non-reinforced and filled materials with glass fiber contents of 15 and 25 percent. All the materials are colored black and heat-stabilized. Their tensile modulus varies from around 350 to 5,300 MPa (conditioned). The range also includes impact-resistant modified grades. The non-reinforced polyamide 6 Durethan DP BC 600 HTS offers significant potential savings. It has an elasticity modulus of only around 350 MPa (conditioned) and, by employing suction blow molding, it can be used to produce charge-air tubes with integrated soft bellows as a single-material solution. This provides a further cost-effective alternative to laborious sequential blow molding involving two polyamides of differing hardness. Detailed information on the product range for blow molding can be found at http://www.durethan.de/.
Leverkusen, October 13, 2009 rei/fah (2009-00183e)
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